In This Review

Our Vichy Gamble
Our Vichy Gamble
By William L. Langer
Knopf, 1947, 412 pp

Dr. Langer, Coolidge Professor of History at Harvard, is one of the foremost diplomatic historians of our day. During the war he was head of the Research and Analysis Branch of the Office of Strategic Services. While serving in this capacity he was invited by Secretary Hull to prepare an account of American policy toward France from May 1940 to the assassination of Darlan on Christmas Eve of 1942. Abundant, though not complete, documentation was placed at his disposal and he talked with many of the principals in the drama. The exciting story as he so ably tells it is substantially a justification of the Roosevelt-Hull policy vis-à-vis Vichy and de Gaulle, primarily on grounds of strategy. It is unnecessary to dwell on the fact that passions on this issue are still hot and that critics of our dealings with Pétain and his crew will not accept Langer's verdict as final.